Rate options FAQs

1 - What will change for residential and small business customers on November 1, 2023?

Starting November 1, 2023, three electricity rate options will be available for residential and small business customers who are billed under the provincial Regulated Price Plan (RPP), Time-of-use (TOU) rates, Tiered rates, and the newly introduced Ultra-low overnight (ULO) rates.

2 - How can I change my rate plan?

To change rate plans, you must complete a rate selection form.

Starting October 13, 2023, customers who wish to switch to ULO rates can submit their rate selection form three ways:

  • By email at: [email protected]
  • Over the phone by calling: 613-738-6400
  • By printing the completed form and sending it to us by mail.

Starting October 15, 2023, customers will also be able to change rate plans online, through Hydro Ottawa’s MyAccount customer portal.

3 – Is there a deadline to make the switch?

There is no deadline to change your rate plan or complete the form. If you do not wish to change, you will continue to be billed under your current plan.

4 - If I don’t like the rate plan that I chose, can I switch back?

Yes, following the prescribed process and timelines,you can change your rate plan at any time.

5 - Once I make my choice, complete and submit the form, when will I see the new rate plan reflected on my bill?

Your rate change form will be processed within 10 business days of receiving a valid form. Once your validated form has been fully processed, your new rate plan will take effect and appear on your next available bill or the following one, depending on where your account is in the billing cycle. This is also when it would reflect on your MyAccount customer portal.

For example:

If your billing period corresponds to the calendar month, and you submit a valid form ‘’by email’’ on November 2, 2023, Hydro Ottawa would begin to apply the new rate pricing as of December 1, 2023, and your December bill would reflect the new rate plan;


If you submit a valid form ‘’by email’’ on November 29, 2023, the new rate plan would not take effect until January 1, 2024.

Meaning that the change in rate plan will start to apply only as of a future date/or future billing period. The change will not be applied back to the beginning of the billing period in which the valid form was received.

6 - What is the difference between TOU, Tiered, and ULO rates?

Time-of-Use rates (TOU)
Under TOU, you pay a different rate for electricity depending on the time of day and day of the week you consume it. TOU has three price periods: on-peak (when energy demand and cost is high), mid-peak (when energy demand and cost is moderate) and off-peak (when energy demand and cost is low). Learn more about TOU.

Tiered rates
Customers under tiered rates pay one set rate for the electricity they consume up to a predetermined kilowatt-hour (kWh) threshold each month. Once customers exceed the monthly threshold, they are billed at a higher rate per kWh for all additional electricity consumed in that month. The threshold changes with the seasons for residential customers. In the summer (May 1 – Oct. 31), the threshold is 600 kWh. In the winter (Nov. 1 – April 30) the threshold is 1000 kWh. The Tier threshold for small business customers is 750 kWh all year round. Learn more about tiered pricing.

Ultra-low overnight rates (ULO)
With ULO pricing, you are charged according to the day of the week and time of day that you use electricity. There are four price periods: on-peak, mid-peak, weekend off-peak, and ultra-low-overnight. The ULO plan sets a very low price for the overnight period, however, the on-peak price is significantly higher. Learn more about ULO.

7- Who sets TOU, Tiered, and ULO rates?

Rate Setting

The Ontario Energy Board  (OEB) typically sets new electricity rates under the Regulated Price Plan (RPP) once a year in November.

To learn more on the RPP rate setting, please refer to the Ontario Energy Board.

8 - Who is eligible for the customer choice rate option program?

All residential and small business consumers who pay electricity rates under the Regulated Price Plan (RPP) are eligible.

RPP customers include most:

  • households;
  • small businesses and,
  • farms.

Customers who are not billed under the RPP, such as retailer-enrolled customers, are not eligible.

Customers currently on a Tiered pricing plan may also request to switch to TOU. However, Hydro Ottawa will need to confirm if they have the appropriate meter before making the switch. In order to be billed on TOU rates, customers must have a smart meter. Learn more about smart meters.

If you live in a condo or apartment and have your own meter, meaning that you pay your own electricity bill to Hydro Ottawa, you are eligible and can choose your rate plan.

For customers who live in a condo or apartment with an individual meter and your bill comes from a company other than your electricity utility, you are a customer of a unit sub-meter provider (USMP). Individual customers of a USMP cannot switch rate options (e.g., TOU, Tiered or ULO rates). That decision can only be made for the building as a whole by the “master consumer,” who is the person that retained a USMP for the property. In most cases, the master consumer is the property manager, landlord or condominium board.

9 - Where can I find more information, tools and advice to help me make an informed decision?

To better understand the potential impacts of a rate change on your bill, it’s important to know what your overall energy consumption is and how your day-to-day habits can influence your energy costs.

The information available in Hydro Ottawa’s MyAccount customer portal should be a good indicator of your consumption habits and help point you in the right direction regarding which rate option is best for you based on how much energy you use, and when you use it.

You can easily access your electricity consumption data history on MyAccount. If you don’t have an online account, create one today.

Only you can decide which price plan is right for you since only you know how you plan to use electricity in the future.

Electricity distributors, like Hydro Ottawa, are not in a position to advise customers in their rate plan decision, including recommending one plan over another.

Reason being that, Hydro Ottawa has no insight or control over how a customer’s future electricity consumption behaviour may change.

10 - Are there any tools to help me compare rate plans?

There are two different online tools available to help customers make a choice and compare rate plans.

Hydro Ottawa’s rate plan comparison tool is available for MyAccount customers and automatically uses your consumption data to show you the electricity cost difference (in percentage) under TOU or tiered prices for your account. 

Currently, ULO rates are not available in the MyAccount rate plan comparison tool. Please use the OEB bill calculatorto compare your estimated monthly bill under Time-of-use (TOU), Ultra-low overnight (ULO) and Tiered price plans.

These tools are designed to provide customers with an estimate on whether they may benefit financially from making a switch to a different rate plan. The tools are intended to act as a guide only, and actual differences will depend on usage and consumption patterns within any billing period.

1. Hydro Ottawa’s MyAccount Rate Plan Comparison Tool

Hydro Ottawa’s MyAccount users can take advantage of our rate plan comparison tool, which makes it easy to compare and estimate the cost difference (in percentage) between TOU and tiered pricing for your account.

There’s no need for you to enter any consumption data or other billing information. MyAccount will automatically generate an estimate and compare electricity costs for you based on the historical monthly usage information available in your MyAccount customer portal.

 The online tool is easy-to-use. Simply follow these steps:

  • Log into MyAccount
  • Choose ‘’Manage Rate Plan’’ option;
    Manage Rate Plan
  • Click on the “Compare Rate Plans’’ button.
    Compare Rate Plan

From this screen, you will see a bar chart displaying the estimated costs under each plan over a period of one year. Over each month, an arrow indicator will be displayed to provide a quick visual on the estimated cost impact of switching plans. In addition, the annual Estimated Impact in terms of the approximate electricity cost difference (%) between your ‘’Current Rate Plan’’ and the ‘’Alternate Rate Plan’’ (ex: TOU vs tiered rates, or vice versa) is also presented.

FAQ - Comparison Tool Screenshot - A

This estimate will be based on TOU and tiered rates that are currently in effectand does not take into account taxes, fixed charges, rebates and or credits.

Rate Comparison Data

You can also download the electricity consumption data that MyAccount used to generate the estimated impact/cost difference. To download the data, click the ‘’Download Raw Data’’ button.

FAQ - Comparison Tool Screenshot - B

Once downloaded, the rate comparison data sheet will display your estimated monthly consumption in kWh, based on the usage information available, and show you your estimated electricity consumption costs under TOU and tired rates and the difference ($) between the two rate plans.

If you are not yet registered to MyAccount but wish to use this tool, you can sign up today at hydroottawa.com/myaccount.

2. The Ontario Energy Board’s Online Bill Calculator Tool

For customers who are not registered or using MyAccount, the Ontario Energy Board has developed a bill calculator that helps customers see the difference between TOU, Tiered, and ULO pricing. The OEB’s online bill calculator will help you to compare the impact of electricity price plans on your estimated monthly bill.

Unlike Hydro Ottawa’s MyAccount rate plan comparison tool, you will need to enter your consumption information into the tool manually to receive your billing comparison. Be sure to have copies of your previous bills available on hand to assist you in entering accurate consumption information.

Important things to keep in mind when using the online tools: There is no guarantee you will save money if you switch rate plans, as the total bill impact of switching will vary depending on how much electricity you actually use in a month and when it is used during the day.

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